Communication Currents

Current Commentary

Communicators Speak

April 1, 2010

Martin Remland, West Chester University, discusses cultural differences in nonverbal communication, particularly in the use of touch. His research looks at rules about appropriate casual touches which occur in conversation, and revisits Edward Hall's ideas on contact and noncontact cultures. Please email to obtain audio file.


Sheila McAllister-Spooner, a professor at Monmouth University, studies what high school students and parents look for in college and university websites. Interestingly, students and parents want to see the same kind of information, including information on academic majors and online applications, housing, food service, and virtual tours. Please email to obtain audio file.

Anne Stone, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, discusses how social support is communicated during transplant surgery. Stone and her colleagues asked patients what sources of information they use, and how their medical providers could assist them. One unique approach is having a family member or friend accompany the patient to medical appointments so there is a second pair of ears helping to interpret the advice and direction given by physicians. Please email to obtain audio file.


In this interview, University of Colorado, Boulder professor Sarah Jane Blithe talks about her research on how virtual workers gossip. Blithe found that virtual workers gossip differently than those who work in face-to-face environments. Online workers use initiation and privacy clauses, such as suggesting a chat, exchanging personal e-mail addresses, or requesting that conversations stay private, to gather information, build relationships, or vent. Please email to obtain audio file.


Stephen King, from Delta State University, discusses his research on heritage tourism and Southern identity, particularly in Mississippi, where official cultures, such as tourism bureaus, are sending conflicting images of the delta blues traditions with those of the stereotypical poverty tourists expect. Myths of the blues culture are created to lure tourism revenue. Please email to obtain audio file.


Michigan State University's Kami Silk and her colleagues' research focuses on messages to adolescent girls and women aimed at reducing their risks ofthe onset of breast cancer. The research looks at the way scientific data on environmental and lifestyle risk is translated for the general public, and on how young girls and women access breast cancer messages. Please email to obtain audio file.


Kami Kosenko's research focuses on communication of HIV/AIDS prevention information to stigmatized groups. Her recent work looks at HIV/AIDS prevention within the transgendered community, where she finds that this group faces additional challenges beyond those of same sex or heterosexual partners. Disclosure of their transgendered lifestyle can potentially lead to violence and noncompliance with safe sex practices. Please email to obtain audio file.